The French National Water Training Center : Maintenance of backflow preventers: 20 years of qualifying courses

A regulatory requirement
The French Public Health Code requires a protection of drinking water supply systems against any backflow and a regular monitoring of all equipment. The health regulations specify the control frequency of backflow preventers.
 
Since 1987, a circular has required that the staffs working on protective equipment against backflow, including backflow preventers, be qualified.
 
Practical arrangements
A first educational unit was built in Limoges in 1992 to develop the first training courses, which were carried out in collaboration with the Health Protection Research and Engineering Service.
To qualify, trainees must know the theoretical elements, but also be able to diagnose a faulty device by using a standard sheet and to repair the device.
 
Trainees must pass an examination every 3 years for the renewal of their qualification.
Technical developments Today the IOWater-FNWTC unit includes 8 work stations equipped with 8 different types of backflow preventers, regularly replaced by newer models to keep up with manufacturers’ developments.
This unit presents backflow preventer models of all sizes and ages to familiarize the trainees with all the products found in the systems. Since 1993, 3,000 trainees have attended these qualifying courses.